Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Miscellany Project

More film that had been sitting around unprocessed for ages.


Frozen in bronze and recruited to sit at the gate of a suburban housing development, miles from any water, fresh or salt.

Near Mentor, Ohio. Canon EOS Rebel, December 2006.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Once Upon a Time in the Midlands

August 1968, St. Elphin's School, Matlock, Darby. A week-long Royal School of Church Music course.

Your correspondent among the English kids. Those who know me as an adult will have no trouble spotting me as a youngster.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Expired Film

Kodak Portra 160, a couple of years past its expiry date, unprocessed for a year and a half after exposure. No red spots or other old film horrors, just a nice faded look, like photos you might find tucked in a book at a thrift store.

Tremont neighborhood, big Mamiya C330S, 55mm lens.

Bill Blasko's Adopt-a-Building Program

Still standing, amazingly. Actually, it appears too solid to come down on its own. A construction guy working on the Euclid Avenue corridor project told me it's probably too expensive for the owner to demolish. When the city decides it wants the land, eminent domain will come into play, and then the wrecking ball will swing.

Expired Kodak Portra 160.

UPDATE 2009:

The wrecking ball got it. Now it's just an open field, with little chance of anything else replacing it.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Images oubliees


A visit to a suburban cemetery in the plush bedroom community of Beachwood with the big, weighty Rapid-Omega 200 and the 90mm Omegon lens.

Couldn't ask for a more cooperative autumn day, an exhilarating mix of rain, sunshine, dramatic clouds and the last days of colorful leaves.

I imagine it was all farmland when the cemetery was established; the suburbs flowed out and around it after World War II. At least two Revolutionary War veterans are buried there.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Breuer Again

Saved. To be re-used as a hotel. Apparently the lobby was dismantled during asbestos removal. Not clear whether the lobby will be re-assembled. The sound you hear is the bottom falling out of the market for my photos of the formerly-under-threat-of-demolition Breuer tower!

Mamiya C330S, 55mm lens.

2008 Geauga County Fair

First outing for the Olympus iS-2DLX, early 1990s technology called ZLR ("zoom lens reflex"). Quickly superseded by nascent consumer digital cameras. Originally priced around $800, this bizarre-looking camera, which looks more like a videocam, was found in the case at Goodwill for $20.

Kodak Gold, with its old-fashioned formulation that looks like 1950s postcards.

2008 Geauga County Fair in Black and White

Olympus iS-2DLX, Kodak Tri-X.

Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla

It was the highlight of our visit to the fair, something we'd promised ourselves for a whole year. We gladly handed over $2.00 each to pass under the canvas flap and see Gabora change from a beautiful blonde maiden into a rampaging gorilla. Inside the tent, it was simultaneously hot and cool, away from the sun's glare, but with a heavy, hot canvas smell that seemed to connect us with a different time. A Caligari moment. A middle-aged man with aviator glasses, a ball cap and a grizzled, gray beard pulled the curtain to one side.

The spielman told how Gabora was captured in Africa, most likely the victim of a "cruel experiment" to demonstrate the truth of evolution. Straight from a Poverty Row script, a PRC
production starring the decrepit Bela Lugosi, working for morphine money, and a man in an ape suit. Gabora was visible at the back of her cage, standing still as death, a somnambulist with fairy-tale golden tresses spilling down her shoulders. She seemed strangely distant. Our eyes couldn't quite focus on her. She was kept in a trance and tranquilized for our safety, he said.

Her trance was also necessary to effect the transformation. "Think gorilla, Gabora," the spielman said. "Think gorilla. Gorilla gorilla gorilla gorilla gorilla," he chanted. The image of the girl faded and was replaced by that of an angry gorilla. "Come to the bars and let the people see you, Gabora," the man said. The lights in the cage suddenly went down. Gutteral sounds, almost like speech, were heard. Hairy hands grasped the bars and shook them. Suddenly the cage front fell with a shattering clang, and the man with the microphone urged us to flee, flee for our lives -- ducking through the canvas flap and stepping out into the glaring sun of the midway.

Gabora seems to have become modest over time. In 2007, she was depicted as completely topless, though inexplicably without nipples. At her reappearance in 2008, she wore a demure fabric applique over her breasts.